OUR Father

“I THEREFORE, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation (calling) wherewith ye are called.

With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling. 

ONE LORD, ONE FAITH, ONE BAPTISM, 

ONE GOD AND FATHER OF ALL, WHO IS ABOVE ALL, AND THROUGH ALL, AND IN YOU ALL.” EPHESIANS 4:1-6

And didn’t Jesus himself state this in John 10:30: “I and the Father ARE one”  I will never forget the moment of truth… MY moment of truth, I had not yet submitted to Christ, but I believed, probably much like many out there, you KNOW the truth but somehow you have bought into the lies that the truth does not apply to you because your too far gone… SUCH A LIE from Satan!

So at any rate, this was years and years and years… you get the point… ago and I was at my sister’s house and this sweet little old man came to the door, who just happened to be a Jehovah’s witness and as I tried my best to politely exit any further discussion he said, “Well, just let me ask you this, what IS God’s name?” and I thought, what on earth kind of question is that? He wants HIS name, I knew I was not easily getting out of the conversation. 

I think the feeling of terror was probably  something kinda like the half excited / half terror Peter felt when Jesus asked him, “But whom say ye that I am?” 

Jesus had ALREADY asked them WHO others said that he was, but he wanted them to say it out of their own mouths and confess their own belief on his identity. 

So I mustered up all my courage, because I had a very legitimate reason to fear… what if I answer this WRONG and OFFENDED God, I KNEW what was in my heart, I KNEW what my soul was screaming out BUT could I actually SAY it out loud? 

So I looked him dead in the eye and as fast as humanly possible I said, JESUS! His name IS Jesus! Of course he explained to me the reason HE felt I and others were completely wrong in that thinking, and that the correct answer is Jehovah, the conversation fortunately soon ended.

I understand the correct answer is Jehovah, the correct answer is also Jesus. God has many, many names but HE IS STILL ONE GOD as the Bible teaches us.

Everything else is just denominational or the lack thereof such as non-denominational. I often wonder if our mixed denominations or non-denominations hold us true to that calling that Paul advised us to “walk worthy of” and I know in the end it will not matter.

I know in the grand realm of things we will all be in for a few surprises, probably some serious surprises but as Paul taught us in that verse when you read between the lines, it may matter HERE more than we think.

We are to walk in love and in UNITY of the Spirit in the bond of peace, that is the forbearing part.

If we argue and dislike each other due to a difference in those beliefs when we ARE saved by the SAME God. We ARE given the gift of the Holy Ghost, again by the SAME and only God then that unity is going right out the door and we are grieving the Holy Spirit through our discord.

So why did Paul tie it so securely to our callings? I believe because we have to have that unity but that in all things we are to be reminded in that unity that we are still individuals.

Matthew 5:13: “Ye are the salt of the earth…”  

Mark 9:49,50: ” For EVERY ONE shall be salted with fire, and EVERY sacrifice salted with salt. Salt is good: but IF the salt has lost his saltiness, wherewith (with what) will ye season it? Have salt IN yourselves, and have peace one with another.”

And if we lose that individuality in not staying true to the calling that we have one hope of then we will become like tasteless salt.

He tells us to have that to be “worth our salt” to have that fire that he “seasoned” us with. It IS our passion to serve him, it is the joy and excitement that we were filled with at the moment of salvation and that desire to spread the word of his love and mercy to the world AS we received it, but if we are not careful, comprising that state of how we received, we fall into his next warning on the subject. 

Luke 14:34,35: “Salt is good: but if the salt have LOST his savour flavor) wherewith (with what)  shall it be seasoned? It is NEITHER fit for the land, NOR yet for the dunghill (rubbish heap) but men cast it out. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” 

Pretty clear there isn’t it? Once we lose our “salt” our “fire” HOW would we ever get back what we have given or comprised away?

And if it’s “flavor” is lost, it is then rendered ABSOLUTELY useless, completely and utterly USELESS. As he told us in the verse from Mark, we should have salt ( keeping our individuality in him) and thereby have that peace with one another.

The peace comes form having peace with God and peace in knowing that we are walking “worthy” of that calling. 

Maybe this accounts for some of the falling away in churches while the “secular candy coat churches” are growing like wild.

If we are dried like “caked up” salt why would anyone want to listen to us? Why would God anoint us?  So you may be wondering what this has to do with Father’s Day?

Well, I had never actually written for Father’s Day because I do tend to try to keep it “multi-denominationally friendly” but I am going to have to quit that.

And seeing that OUR father, IS the FATHER OF US ALL, regardless of whether you believe that the Trinity consists of the Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit, as separate (and that IS absolutely true) or if you take the scripture “These THREE ARE ONE” literally (they are and I do)  and that “Jesus IS Lord” and “The Lord IS God”, you know we ARE all correct, that is why in that DAY his NAME SHALL BE ONE. 

And believe me I know there are people on “both sides” of the fence that would like to string me up for that statement BUT it is true!

I also know there are those who think I worry too much about it BUT Jesus told us to have “salt” in ourselves, if we don’t trust what we feel in our hearts as he deals with us then we are already salt less.

We are warned in the Bible to take heed when we THINK we stand, lest we fall.

Because we can become a little to sure that OUR interpretation of scriptures IS the ONLY interpretation, which again, is WRONG.

Jesus NEVER left us to tell other believers what denomination or his “sheep fold” they belong to.

Only he has that authority as he said John 10:16: ” And OTHER sheep I have, which are NOT of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be ONE fold, and ONE shepherd.” 

But now for us to all walk in those calling, walking with passion and purpose as we celebrate Father’s day for our earthly  Father’s, remembering to give honor and praise to our heavenly Father, who truly is the Father of us all! 

If you have never accepted Jesus Christ what a more appropriate time could there be?

John 14:5-21: “Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whiter thou goest: and how can we know the way?  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also; and from henceforth ye know him , and have seen him. 

Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew (show) us the Father, and it sufficeth us (will satisfy us). Jesus saith unto him, Have I  been so long time with you, and YET thou hast not know me, Philip?  he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou, then she us the Father?

Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me?  the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself BUT the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. 

Believe me that I am IN the Father, and the Father is IN me; OR else believe me for the very works sake.

Verily, verily I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; BECAUSE I go unto my Father.

And whatsoever ye  shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father might be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. If ye love me, keep my commandments.

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you FOR EVER.

Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world CAN NOT receive, BECAUSE it seeth him not, NEITHER knoweth him; FOR HE DWELLETH WITH YOU, AND SHALL BE IN YOU. 

I WILL NOT LEAVE YOU COMFORTLESS; I WILL COME TO YOU. 

Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; BUT YE SEE ME: BECAUSE I LIVE, YE SHALL LIVE ALSO. 

AT THAT DAY YE SHALL KNOW THAT I AM IN MY FATHER, AND YE IN ME, AND I IN YOU.

He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father. and I will love him, and WILL MANIFEST (reveal) myself to him.”

Φλογίζω Σαλπίζω NB 2018 

 

 

Parental Guidance Highly Suggested

“Hear O Israel: The Lord our God is one God. And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heartand thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and thou shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” Deuteronomy 6:4-7

Trying to determine true statics on kids and Christianity is like the proverbial needle in the haystack.

But it is very fair to say considering the verse above that it doesn’t really matter what school stats would suggest because this is parental responsibility.

According to the history on it, “Sunday school” was started in Britain as a way of not only helping the street children, but also teaching them about God and educating them.

And in our country schools used mainly the word of God as a teaching tools for reading and writing.

Many of our early leaders WERE self-taught, the Bible being the number one book used for that purpose.

So it is not a shocker that schools of yesteryear were safe learning place that parents could entrust their children to, of course you have to take the corporal punishment out of that equation, I for one absolutely do not agree with hitting or spanking, or any form of physical violence as a method of discipline or learning “incentive”.

But they were something else in the old days as far as the term “strong disciplinarians” could go.

My mother has horror stories of the days when children were paddled for not knowing their multiplication table. And as she said, if you miss one you were sure to miss another. It is just absolutely wrong for anyone other than a parent to have that kind of authority over a child.

But we have as a society  given entirely too much power to influence the minds and more importantly the SOULS of our children to the “world” schools, and even religious organizations.

As we know when prayer and the teachings of God were removed form public schools replaced with Darwinism and the absolute intelligence insulting nonsense of the big bang and evolution, we invited the moral downfall of society as we knew it.

And at the end of the day it is up to each one of us to take back that power, that back that authority that we have blindly given others BECAUSE God only gave that authority to parents.

I have heard people remark after being called out about saying or doing things that are not right in front of their children, only to reply that “They hear worse at school” and everyone could argue the filth that they see on television and movies and even argue that at some point they “will be exposed to it anyway” but here is the deal, EVEN if they hear bad language at school, they should NOT hear it at home. EVEN if they have saw filth on television, you have to ask, WHO is monitoring that television? WHO is watching over what they are watching, witnessing, and being exposed to?

Remember PG for PARENTAL GUIDANCE? That is NOT just for television. God expects us to use our PG authority in all areas of our children’s lives and even if children are grown adults, they are STILL your children. 

No matter what mistakes have been made in the past, the present and future can be changed for the better by enacting that parental guidance in our own lives, by being the example that God intended for us to be.

And as long as we have breath in these bodies, IT IS NEVER TOO LATE! That is why God told US to teach our own children, of course we can not protect the from the world and the things in the world but at the end of the day, what are taught by parents and family will outweigh those other influences.

And of course people can fall in with the “wrong crowd” and go completely “hog wild” as the saying goes, kinda reminiscent of the Prodigal son there, but have hope in this.

Proverbs 22:6: “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he WILL NOT depart from it.”

Most of us have been guilty of running amok in our youth, (some of us seriously amok) but there is so much comfort in knowing that God ALWAYS has His eyes on us AND our children.

That is why it is so important for those who are new to Christ to STAY in Christ because we are PROMISED our households and our families to a thousand generations, we are NOT saved just for the sake of being saved.

As part of that salvation, we are to lead others to Him, that His light may also shine into their lives also and  that light radiates and it touches so many others, which is why when one family member accepts Christ usually the others soon follow.

It ONLY takes one person to STAND up and declare faith in Jesus to influence many generations.

Think about it as we start a New Year, if you have a school aged child KNOW who is teaching them and what they are being taught and do not be afraid to speak AGAINST those things that are against God because you are actually the one with the GREATER influence.

And if you doubt that, think of it in the negative, think about all the people who belong to hate groups BECAUSE they were BORN into hate groups and we ARE products of our environment and once that environment changes WE CAN CHANGE ALSO.

This kinda goes with my “when in Rome” thought, it has been on my heart and mind so much that THIS has to change. Take back your place in the family and take back your heritage in the Lord.

Psalm 127:3,4: ” Lo, (OT for pay attention) Children ARE an heritage of the Lord; and the fruit of thy womb is his reward. As arrows in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.

We ARE blessed with children. We ARE entrusted of God with those children and they are HIS and we are privileged with the task of nurturing their hearts, their souls, and their minds and guide them on their journey into adulthood but even more so in discovering  WHO HE CREATED THEM TO BE.

And the greatest reflection that will show in them is WHO we understand HE created US to be.

So as you make your resolutions for this New Year, think about what you want for your family, if you don’t have kids, think about maybe another family member. We all struggle, we all need help at different times in life, and we can all be a light, and especially as parents, be that parental guide for your child, no matter how young or old they are because you lead and they will follow, maybe not in a split second, but stay on the Lord’s path and they will… just as scripture tells us, NOT depart from that way.

So be that example this year, even when you don’t feel like being an example.. BE ONE.

Εξυπνιζω NBJ 2018

 

My year in review.. in the rearview

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things unseen….” we all know that one by heart. And I BELIEVE IT!

I have BELIEVED it and I HAVE BELIEVED since I was saved March 13,2000, but actually I BELIEVED it before I was saved because sometimes life deals us hands with odd stacked so high that there is no way of winning without pulling that mysterious ace out of the hole and often we have forgotten exactly where that ace is hidden. 

Still digging on the New Years Eve card game with my parents last night. They love it and I know some people may think card playing is wrong but if you are not betting on it, it is no different from checkers, or chess, or video games in my opinion.

It was actually a wonderful evening. We always ring it in with my Mom and Dad and last night was exceptional, we watched some great Gospel signing, praying, we ate and then had our game of Spades, watched a Christmas pageant, watched the ball drop, blew ours horns and prayed the New Year in on speaker phone with my Sister. 

But anyway they are the sweetest people and every single New Years Eve is even more of a blessing because we are all together. We still always miss my brother Donnie, we always spent New Years Eve’s together at their house before he passed but death does one thing for a certainty, it reminds us, very painfully of just how precious each one of those moments of that countdown really are, and precious they are.

And we had been blessed to be gifted with a restaurant gift certificate as a family Christmas gift, so Mom taught it would be a good night to use that, so while my family was gone to pick up dinner, me and Dad listened to a Gospel music program and his shoulders have been hurting really bad over the last few weeks, so anyway I just felt like we should pray.

We prayed and just had the sweetest presence of the Lord, the kind of presence that just leaves you with tears of awe in His mercy, grace, and the fact that we as humans are so small and should be so insignificant, BUT He loves us so much that EVERY need we have IS important to Him. To know and be made aware that in the midst of an entire universe of heartache, trouble, and toil, a world full of problems and troubles much greater than our own, HE WILL take the time to hear us and touch us and let us know that HE IS still very much there.

And sometimes so beautiful about sharing tears of joy and awe with my eighty-four year old Dad that still amazes me. Couldn’t stand the man until I was nineteen, to say we had a troubled relationship would have been the understatement of the century. But when I had some problems we began to get close and actually talk to each other and he eventually ended up being the person who prayed with me when I got saved and filled with the Holy Ghost and once that took place I understood completely why we had always had such and argumentative, strained relationship.

God has plans for our lives and Satan knows who to put at each others throats. So maybe the person who always fights and argues with you is the person who you have already been predestined to win to the Lord.

He always said that me and my sister were “like daylight and dark” and I was always dark. I was also okay with him saying that because I knew that it was absolutely the truth. She was sweet and mild and I really was exceptionally vocal with my thoughts and feelings and extremely strong opinions and looking back I truly wish I would have been my supportive toward him rather than resent and rebel.

Funny things happen in life, when we are young and “flying” down that highway thinking we are Sammy Hagar signing, “I can’t drive fifty-five” raging through life at break neck speeds while we don’t even know where we are headed and we are going so fast that whatever image that rear view mirror is capturing becomes just a blur.

But add a little age, a few seasons, and a strong desire to become an old sage one day, things change… as we slow down we can see… we see what that mirror is trying to show us and it shows us life, moments, glimpse, memories, that are so close to passing up by and that we become so painfully aware that a day will come when we will long for those things that were once behind to be in view just once more.

And as the Bible tells us to “FORGET those things that are behind” we know we must stay the course and enjoy every second of the ride we have left.But it does hurt to think of the things we could have done so differently and how that would have affected lives for the better. And this year that is my deal.. to SLOW way down and look carefully at WHAT I am seeing.

As I went outside and I pondered and I thanked the Lord for the wonderful Christmas our family had… with loved ones that we had not seen in a long time and children running, playing and Mom glowing seeing her family together and I thanked him for my great-niece who lives a very busy life quite far away, and as she came to visit just a few days before making my parents day.

I thanked Him for what He has done for my family and my husband’s health and sending blessed help with burdens that few even know about and He has blessed in way that have just blown my mind and in ways and through people whose kindness  has been beyond measure.

And I have had to learn so much about MYSELF and face fears and deal with things I did not THINK I was quite prepared to deal with and it all, even though I FELT surrendered and I felt like I TRUSTED God, I have had learned lessons in trusting Him with the prospect of widowhood, as much as I have had times of wanting to choke my husband over our twenty plus years, I NEVER had to FACE head on the fact that I may lose him.

I had no CLUE what was going on inside of his body because he has always been the “strong” knight in shining armor.

I NEVER had to cope had in hand with my daughter FACING these fears together as she had to deal with the possibility of losing her Dad, while STILL coping with the grief of losing her uncle who was like a second Dad to her. We were side by side for the entire ordeal all the tests, the horror of being met with the dry erase drawing of his blockages, the doctor informer her that this is now in her medical history also, which another later told her that again, and I told him really fast that she is a teenager and they just needed to stop it, and thankfully nothing else was said. She had enough worry without them scaring her about her own health at that particular moment. And we stayed with him and sleep in his hospital room and it was all so surreal, so sudden but we saw the hand of God at every turn.

And all the daily issues that came along for the ride, other family issues, worries, and snares and TRYING to fix a few things my way only to realize some things may never change and some of our inner wounds are so deep that we may NEVER be able to get past certain hurdles.

I am speaking of myself there and the fact that I have just truly had to admit to myself that i went through what I went through over twenty years ago but I don’t know that I will ever feel safe in certain working conditions again and I don’t know that I can ever go “back” to the comfort of never worrying about looking over my shoulder, not because there is now a need to, but simply because we can never undo what has been done.

And I have had to painfully accept that, I love people, I love working in public but I know deep down inside that I may be able to swing it for a few weeks but I am never going to be the same and a work environment of  large windows and public service is not going to be a thing again.

So I have had to learn a whole NEW level of trust and as I thought about all these things and ALL He has done and the ways He has made in absolute wilderness a beautiful thought came to mind… “GREATER WORKS THAN THESE…” and I am so holding to that verse, for me, for you, for this entire world! GREATER…. and TRUST and FAITH are the doors that lead to those greater works.

When we ARE helpless, ARE hopeless, and ARE without remedy as the scripture I clung to, “Who AGAINST hope BELIEVED in hope”…. that is when those doors open to GREATER because we KNOW, we have been TAUGHT that even though we KNOW it, we REALLY see it put to the test, that He is not going to let us fall through those cracks, He is not going to let the world swallow us up, and He will NEVER leave us comfortless.

And most of us have been wounded in life and wounds leave scars, and some things may  NEVER be completely “alright” and make us feel like we will never be able to cope or handle certain things ( and maybe we can’t) and make us question our ability to stand one more second and even feel “flaked out” or as my daughter said when she was little.. about a horse on a cartoon, “not all there, up there”

The past year I WAS a mess, I WAS freaked, I WAS scared, and I WAS fogged over but HE NEVER WAS!

He is NEVER a mess or blindsided by what befalls our human states, HE IS THE I AM THAT IS and like the old Gospel hymn and the words of Paul.. when I am weak HE IS STRONG and for all of my fears He gives faith and for all of my tears, He has given me peace and in that awe IS the Joy of resting in HIS STRENGTH and sometimes in life we just need to be reminded of that!

Thanks for reading and I pray you are having a blessed beginning to a beautiful New Year!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2018

I have loved this song for years and I hope you love it too!

” Untitled &Unbiased “

“Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in thine power to do it.” Proverbs 3:27

We tend to think of this in terms of financial help and “works” but have you ever thought about it as in spiritual help? Helping one another through their trials, sorrows, and troubles?

Helping them with the ministries and helping them stand steadfast in the calling of the Lord on their life? Stretching out a hand if they are about to slip, or helping pull them back up after they’ve almost tumbled over a spiritual cliff?

It seems the struggles are so much tougher, the sickness and diseases that have hit those of the kingdom with an absolute vengeance are taking their toll and so many.. oh so many are fighting every moment just to hang on.

Maybe everyone is at a loss as to what to do for another… fear of their help or advice would be rejected.. or truly just not knowing.

But if you know those who are struggling and you want to do something, the Bible has our answers and this is how it goes, as the early church was encouraged through the words of their fellow servants, shouldn’t we use this as our example and encourage one another?

Colossians 1:2-12: “To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse; Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, PRAYING ALWAYS FOR YOU. 

SINCE we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints, For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;

Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day you heard it, and KNEW the grace of God in truth.

As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ. Who also declared to us your love in the Spirit. For this cause we also, SINCE the day we heard it, DO NOT CEASE TO PRAY FOR YOU, and to DESIRE THAT YE MIGHT BE FILLED WITH THE KNOWLEDGE OF HIS WILL IN ALL WISDOM AND SPIRITUAL UNDERSTANDING; THAT YE MIGHT WALK WORTHY OF THE LORD UNTO ALL PLEASING, BEING FRUITFUL IN EVERY GOOD WORK, AND INCREASING IN THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD;

STRENGHTENED WITH ALL MIGHT, ACCORDING TO HIS GLORIOUS POWER, UNTO ALL PATIENCE AND LONGSUFFERING WITH JOYFULLNESS; Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet (qualified us) to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.”

God has had this on my heart so much lately.. we HAVE to be workers together, we may NOT all have the same beliefs, the same doctrinal system but as it is written when “one hurts we ALL hurt”  and we all need to encourage others along the way and sometimes that means putting down our own personal comfort shields and reaching out to others who may or may not like us or approve of us but if they may just NEED something we can offer, it is still our responsibility to reach out, whether they accept it us or even if they tell us to get “out of their face”, as long as we have tried, we have fulfilled what is required of us.

I had to put my “money where my mouth is” awhile back.. I was visiting a revival and there is an older couple, awesome sweet people, and I have had a lot of personal hurt due to #1. I am female. #2. I am female in a certain “neck of the world” that hasn’t caught up as much as they think they have, with the biased gender based thinking of 1802 and even when we try not to let words and attitudes hinder us.. sometimes they still get lodged in the back of our minds and lie in wait.. until the situation arises that they can remind us that because we are not the right sex, color, or denomination that our PRAYERS are not welcome.

Anyway I was behind this couple and the more I sat there the more it was on my heart to pray for him and I know they have a different background and I just kept hearing that doubt.. “men pray for men.. women pray for women”.. and I just kept wrestling inside of myself and I finally determined that if it was God’s will, it would be fine because I WAS NOT going to go home and spend the rest of my life knowing that I was supposed to pray for him and had refused to even obey what was on heart for FEAR of rejection.

Had they known my calling they may have looked at me not quite so friendly and that is what hit me… we are who we are in God and others are who they are in God.. we don’t always have to make a point of it and can be the body as one. So it hit me to ask his wife first and then we both asked him if it would be okay to pray for him and it all worked out well.

I think this is really how the enemy has divided and separated the churches and flocks, and as long as we ourselves, separate ourselves we will only stay stagnant and will never fulfill the true divine plan God has for our lives and for others.

For the record, MOST believers don’t have the segregated attitudes, and I have a great church family now, but once it has been put in our thinking.. it is there until we overcome it through God and His word.. which says we ought to obey HIM rather than man.

So in our verses we have just that.. believers ENCOURAGING other believers and PRAYING for them and PRAYING for their ministries and that God would BLESS them in their walk with him.

They SINCERELY wanted the new Christians to SUCCEED in the Lord and be filled with joy. They weren’t taking pot shots at the them because they thought they were ‘different”.

They based their entire dealings with them on the facts that they WERE God’s children also and that they WERE filled with His love. I wonder how often we really look at each other this way?

They DID NOT withhold what was good… as it was their inheritance just as much as it belonged to Paul and Timothy and it is high time we all take heart of that.. we will work as a team or our work will profit nothing at all. If you can help someone.. help them.

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω  NBJ 2017

Reaching the river

“As the hart panteth after the water brooks, So panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God; When shall I come and appear before God?

My tears have been my meat (food) day and night, While they continually say unto me, Where is thy God? When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me:

For I HAD gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, With the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday.  WHY are thou cast down (bowed down), O my soul?  and why are thou disquieted (worried, nervous, anxious) in me? 

HOPE THOU IN GOD: for I shall YET praise him (give thanks) for the help of his countenance (His presence).

O my God, my soul is cast down within me; therefore I WILL REMEMBER THEE from the land of Jordan, and the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar.

Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: ALL thy waves and thy billows ARE GONE OVER ME. Yet the Lord WILL command his lovingkindness  in the DAYTIME, and in the NIGHT his SONG shall be with me, And MY PRAYER unto the GOD OF MY LIFE.

I will say unto God my rock, Why hast thou forgotten me? Why go I mourning because of the oppression of my enemy? 

As with a sword in my bones, mine enemies reproach me; While they say daily unto me, Where is thy God? WHY art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me?

HOPE THOU IN GOD: FOR I WILL YET PRAISE HIM, Who IS the health of my countenance and MY GOD.” Psalm 42:1-11

Every single one of us experience these seasons in life and sometimes we feel like they will never end. When you feel like you can almost hear your circumstances echoing “WHERE is your God?”

You KNOW that you HAVE served the Lord, you HAVE went into His house with joy and praise and yet… you know feel your soul bowed down, nervous, anxious and confused as those “enemies” of your peace still vehemently whisper in your ears… WHY are you going through THIS?

Where is your peace, your joy, and healing? Now to completely seem to jump topic.. I know there are those who have suffered and suffered with the same afflictions for what seems like forever and often we see a televised service or even go to  a revival service that is so charged that YOU KNOW healing and deliverance ARE there… but kinda like the man at the pool who needed a little help getting in the water… it seems something else happens before you get your turn in the prayer line and before you even got started the service ended.

Want to talk to you about that before we finish our verses. The reason those services ARE charged is NOT where the services are held (although I do believe in “Holy” grounds) or even WHO is preaching them or who is singing.

The “charge” is the fact that these services are packed with people who have an EXPECTATION.. their FAITH dial is set to wide open flow and as we know “where two or three are GATHERED together” there HE IS in the midst, so when you have hundreds gathered BELIEVING and EXPECTING of course good things are going to take place. But again it is NOT person nor place, IT IS level of faith and belief in the fact that HE IS there.

But some things I believe happen in “different” settings, such as our personal prayer closets. That secret meeting place that is just between YOU and JESUS. that place of pouring your heart out, such as the verse above, pouring out your tears, your suffering, your fear and your insecurity and allowing His presence to wash over you and flood you in the billows and waves of His Holy Spirit.

As the verse above. he REASSURED HIMSELF that this fight was not over, THIS was NOT the end! His soul would STILL rejoice in the Lord and in His presence even though it looked quite hopeless at the moment.

Sometimes we are discouraged, sad, and troubled and WE DON’T EVEN KNOW WHY. I believe this happens sometimes.. not always.. so don’t get me wrong.. but when we feel like that longing and nothing major is going wrong in our lives.. I think it can be a longing to draw closer to the Lord.

But in either case, once he started to remember all the marvelous works that the Lord had already preformed, THOUGHTS changed, because PERCEPTION CAN BE A POWERFUL THING.

He remembered and he had HOPE. Hope because he knew the Lord would send His love and His goodness to him each day, because God’s mercy toward us is “renewed each day” and he knew that God would send the songs of Zion, the songs of hope and encouragement, faith, and peace to comfort him in even the darkest time.

And he learned the power of praying, and praying “without ceasing” to the God of LIFE, God who would give him new life and restore and repair all that had been broken and lead him to those crystal waters and refresh his parched soul.

In our verses, he asked “why” several times and we do not always understand why, but we must hold to that hope and to hold on to that prayer and pray and pray in the “secret place of the Most High” until we are restored, renewed, and refreshed in the times of trouble and doubt.

Seasons pass, troubles fade, and circumstances change so don’t give up your fight and don’t ever give up on God. Troubles come and troubles go, days get brighter and the sun will once again shine but if you give up in that dry, parched land, you will never feel joy and peace until you reach that river and allow Him to refresh you again.

Psalm 46:1-11 “God IS our REFUGE and STRENGTH, a VERY PRESENT HELP IN TIME OF TROUBLE.

Therefore WE WILL NOT FEAR, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, Though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah 

THERE IS A RIVER, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God. The holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.

God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her and that right early. The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved.

The Lord of hosts IS with us; The God of Jacob IS our refuge. Selah

Come, behold the works of the Lord, What desolations he hath made in the earth. He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; He breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear asunder (in half); He burneth the chariots in the fire.

BE STILL, and know that I AM God; I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.

The Lord of hosts IS with us; The God of Jacob IS our refuge.”

Hope that jogged your memory! RUN into your prayer closet and don’t come out until you have been drenched! He does not need an audience, or a preacher, or the congregation to touch and heal you and often the most earth-shaking blessing come completely one on one, you just have to BELIEVE that He does hear you and BELIEVE that He will answer you and EXPECT Him to rock your world! Run, walk, or if you have to crawl but reach that river and let NOTHING hold you back!

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2017

 

“How do I love thee?”

“Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord; And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words,which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart.” Deuteronomy 6:4-6

Old school groove, “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways” that one has been around for ages! But it is  wonderful question, once Jesus gives us those new hearts and leads us in His paths, we are met with that question, once the true realization of His presence and love is known to you, as He said, He will give you a heart to KNOW him, then we are faced with the humanly overwhelming question of how do you relay your love back to the God of the universe, who created heaven and earth , and who can hold time, space, and eternity in the palm of His hand and if He wanted, He could speak one word and completely destroy every single thing that now exists?

Obviously, as mere mortals, it would seem that we have nothing, nothing to offer as a token of our love in return, our love to Him for creating us, caring for us, and most of all dying on a cross for us so that we could be saved, and never giving up on us.

So how do we love Him and what exactly is it that He wants? Well, we are created in His image and He wants the same thing we want from Him, He wants our love and our heart, and He does not want a little portion of our hearts, you know a spot that remains empty while the main space is taken by other people, other things that we cling too while He gets whatever love is left. He will not go for that, not now, not ever.

No He wants ALL our heart or none of our heart, that is why he said to seek Him with our WHOLE heart. he wants a real relationship and not to be a God in the distance in our lives, He wants fellowship with us and this has become so messed up in the world thinking. He is love BUT He also tells us if we love Him, we WILL keep His commandments and when you think about it, there is nothing on that list that is unreasonable and every single command He has ever handed down is FOR OUR GOOD.

So we have to get into that thinking that He IS love and He IS our friend but we are also required by that love to do as He asks. Our world has major rebellion problems on this one, it is taught as well He loves us, we can do what makes us happy, No, that is NOT loving Him, that is trying to compare His goodness toward us with some sort of fairy godfather who grants your every whim. And that is in no way loving Him or respecting Him, that is loving our flesh and being so arrogant as to think our DESIRES are of a higher value than His Holiness, and that kinda thinking will get a person a quick trip to the grave.

“But the hour cometh, and now IS, when true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth; for the Father seeketh such to worship him. GOD IS A SPIRIT: and they that worship him must worship him in SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH.” John 4:23,24

So we know with Jesus arrival on earth, all things were changed and no longer were prayers and sacrifice made by a priest needed and all who truly believe could be allowed entry into the Holy of Holies through his presence with the gift of the Holy Ghost.

This is where we must worship in TRUTH, truth to who He is, truth of His commands, truth of His word, and keeping our lives and actions subjected into and under that TRUTH. We worship Him in Spirit, in His presence  in the “places” of salvation:

“But thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise” Isaiah 60:18(a)

Believers are surrounded by those walls of salvation in your worship time and praise is the gate by which we enter and there you worship in fellowship, love, and adoration and there you know Him and receive joy, peace, and assurance and rest from your troubles. 

So here is a scriptural checklist:

Deuteronomy 10:12 : “And now Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee? But (only) to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the Lord thy God WITH ALL THY HEART and ALL THY SOUL.” 

Deuteronomy 11:13-14:  “And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love the Lord your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul, That I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, and the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather  in thy corn, thy wine, and thine oil.”

That is His promises to us of all good things, and the word of God, the bread of life, his blessings, His anointing. So now we answer the question.. “My Dear Lord HOW do I love thee?  We enter into your presence with thanksgiving and praise, and in the safety of your pavilion surrounded by those walls of your salvation we will allow ourselves to be taught, loved, and led!

This is the how you count the ways! Seek Him, Love Him, Honor Him, and get to know Him, and let His blessings and His mercy transform you!

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2016

New Direction, >>>>>>> 2017

Hard to believe another year has come, starting off with the freshness of a new fallen snow and gently waving into a cool summer breeze, Autumns splendor having been replaced by a multitude of beautiful twinkling lights, and will be gone with the blasts of horns and whirls of confetti, as 2017 will be ushered in.

How time flies so quickly is beyond me, but I do believe the “shortened” days of the Bible are being fulfilled. In a blink of an eye, the days, and months have passed by and we once again evaluate ourselves, what we have accomplished, and what we have most importantly learned.

Many, many have been through tough times, not only this past year but the years preceding, faith has been tested and endurance has been stretched but I believe hope is on the horizon, chains will be broken,  doors will be opened, damages will be repaired and things can be made new IF we forsake our OWN paths and our OWN ways and be willing to go in a NEW direction, in courage, boldness, not fearing the unknown and more importantly not fearing failure of rejection by others.

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of PEACE, and NOT of evil (calamity), to GIVE YOU AN EXPECTED END ( a FUTURE and a HOPE).

Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye search for me with all your heart.” JEREMIAH 29:11-13

I think sometimes, even though it is not our intention, we kinda run off in our own path, like little lambs, headed for what we are going after, when the Shepherd is standing there like, “Where are you going?” and being the lambs we are, we just baa-baa and take off running even faster  after what has caught our eye and lured us into believing that the grass may be greener over there, running until He comes to our rescue and pulls us from the edge of the cliff at the moment we are almost ready to topple over it.

Some cliffs are man-made and those are the worst, you know the areas that we voluntarily dwell in, in the forms of bad relationships and trying to shoulder burdens that were never ours to carry, and that heavy burden you have chosen to put on your own back will certainly either knock you down the hill or roll you over your own cliff, whichever comes first.

There really are times in life that we are required to JUST LET situations and relationships GO! Say Adios, Asta LA vista, Good-bye and if you have too, hum a little chorus of “Na-Na, Na-Na, hey-hey, good-bye”!

You know when your joy has been sucked out and misery is at your door,  you feel trapped and overwhelmed,  then THIS IS NOT THE PATH OF THE LORD  and when you feel unable to worship the Lord as openly as you wish, this lets you know that this ground is toxic and nothing you attempt to plant there will grow, and this field is toxic and nothing you attempt to harvest will prosper in these polluted  fields.

Trouble is, we find ourselves in these fields begging the Lord to change things or move obstacles, when actually this was NEVER the place you were supposed to be!

So think about that for 2017, where have you been, what have accomplished, what ratio are you reading negative to positive in your life goals and your relationship to God and ministry in the Kingdom.

If you’re not happy with it or feel rather lacking, this is the opportunity dead center of the road and do a u turn back to the Shepherd, who will be waiting there to lead you on the RIGHT path.  As He said, when we SEEK HIM, with ALL our hearts, we WILL find Him  and THEN our prayers will be answered. Let’s us know real fast that we can “think” we are committed and yet still being seeking and serving half-heartedly with that other half dedicated to something that was never ours.

“My son forget not my law; but let thine hearts keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.

Let not mercy and truth forsake thee; bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: So shalt thou find FAVOUR and good understanding (high esteem) in the sight of God and man.

TRUST in the Lord with all thine heart; lean NOT unto thine OWN understanding. In ALL thy ways acknowledge him, and he SHALL DIRECT THY PATHS.

Be not wise in thine own eyes, fear the Lord, and depart from evil. IT shall be health to thy navel (body) and marrow (strength, refreshment) to thy bones.

Honour the Lord with thy substance (possessions), and with the firstfruits of all thine increase. So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall BURST OUT WITH NEW WINE.” PROVERBS 3:1-10

We are to trade that heavy yoke around our neck for mercy and truth to carry, as Jesus said His yoke is light, again we are warned to not be wise in our own thoughts, sometime we feel that we should do this or that and that something IS our obligation, when God actually wants us away from that problem.

That is why is so important to compare natural to natural, spiritual to spiritual and if God has given you a great life but yet you are lacking peace because of a toxic relationship, then you know, God is not making you stay there and that is when letting go comes in, He will not make you but don’t be shocked if he doesn’t sway things to your liking.

He will save anyone who asks, BUT they have to want to be saved and that is often the point we miss and we are not called to be emotional martyrs or to perform clean up and deliverance for people when only GOD ALONE CAN PERFORM THESE TASKS.

So try changing directions this new year, I think we all could always use a little “new wine” and let God Bless you, lead you, and guide you, ALL of you, in HIS paths!

 

As the song asks, “Should auld acquaintance be forgot?” YES! YES! “Remember ye NOT the former things (what is in the past), NOR CONSIDER the things of old. {Don’t bank on experience as a test of thinking you already know what you don’t REALLY know}

Behold, I will do a NEW thing; now it shall spring forth; SHALL YE NOT KNOW IT? I will even make a WAY IN THE WILDERNESS, and RIVERS in the desert.” ISAIAH 43:18.19

To borrow another familiar term, for 2017 lets all live up to the advice of “out with the old and in with the new” and we will be made new too!

Here’s wishing you a beautiful New Year with new direction, new hope, newness of joy, newness of life, new peace, new love, and an overwhelming newness and refreshment of His spirit on your life.

 

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2016